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Driver charged in crash that killed singer Kak Channthy

Nguon Sreynich (centre, wearing mask), 21, near the Phnom Penh Municipal Court last week. Sreynich has been charged with negligent driving after her car crashed into a tuk-tuk carrying Kak Channthy, the lead singer of popular local band the Cambodian Space Project, who died at the scene. Photo supplied
Nguon Sreynich (centre, wearing mask), 21, near the Phnom Penh Municipal Court last week. Sreynich has been charged with negligent driving after her car crashed into a tuk-tuk carrying Kak Channthy, the lead singer of popular local band the Cambodian Space Project, who died at the scene. Photo supplied

Driver charged in crash that killed singer Kak Channthy

The 21-year-old driver of a car that collided with a tuk-tuk in a crash that killed Cambodian Space Project lead singer Kak Channthy has been charged with negligent driving and sent to pre-trial detention.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Ly Sophana on Monday said suspect Nguon Sreynich had been charged with negligent driving causing unintentional injury and death.

Sreynich’s Toyota Prius allegedly collided with a tuk-tuk near the intersection of Mao Tse Toung Boulevard and Street 163 in the early hours of Tuesday last week.

It is believed Channthy was knocked from the tuk-tuk on impact and struck her head on the ground.

The driver of the tuk-tuk reportedly received a minor head injury, and British national Peter Crawford, who was travelling with Channthy, was also injured and taken to Calmette hospital for surgery on his broken leg. Calmette Hospital staff on Monday confirmed he is in a stable condition.

According to an interview Sreynich gave to TVFB shortly after the accident, which occurred about 1:30am, a camera in her car captured the fatal incident and would provide evidence that she was not at fault.
“I came straight at a green light. And then he came through a red light, violating the law. The priority was mine,” she said.

She said her car and the tuk-tuk were travelling at about the same speed, while the tuk-tuk driver, also interviewed by TVFB at the scene, said he did not remember the collision clearly, but claimed the car was speeding.

If found guilty, Sreynich, identified as the daughter of vendors, faces up to three years in prison and a fine of up to 15 million riel (about $3,900), unless there are other circumstances that would raise the penalty.

A funeral for Channthy was held late last week in her home province of Prey Veng, while family, friends and fans also gathered at a fundraiser on Saturday night to raise money to help pay for the education of her 13-year-old son Makara.

Additional reporting by Erin Handley

This version updates the condition of British national Peter Crawford, who was injured in the collision.

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